Unionwear manufactures headwear, bags (such as backpacks, garment bags, and handbags), and workwear (like safety vests and scrubs), with 120 union workers in Newark, NJ. Which means that not only are all of our products low tech and labor intensive, but in every product category we probably have the highest paid labor in the world.
We didn’t create all these jobs by ourselves.
Without public private partnership and help from unions and NGO’s we’d be crushed by sweatshops in China. Our labor was in effect subsidized through training grants, procurement policy and incentives from the city of Newark, the State of New Jersey, the NJ Department of Labor, and the US Departments of Defense, Labor, and Commerce.
Every job we have created over the last 10 years has been the result of a public/private partnership that takes into account what we call the four pillars of job creation.
The four pillars are:
1. Revenue Growth — without revenue growth job creation is artificial. Municipalities can promote revenue growth in two ways: by fostering networking opportunities among local businesses, and by establishing and enforcing procurement policy and encouraging its use nationwide, (as in using state and local buying power to pass and enforcing buy local, buy domestic, or anti-sweatshop procurement initiatives).
2. Hiring Incentives to hire target populations — without targeted hiring incentives, the least employable people will remain unemployed. This doesn’t necessarily involve coming up with the cash, but educating employers on all incentives available from any funding source and facilitating them receiving that incentive for fulfilling their end of the bargain.
3. Employee Readiness — giving unemployed the tools needed to just be an employee. The importance of showing up for work on time, working with other people, and dealing with superiors. Employers can train workers how to do their jobs but they can’t train them if they don’t show up.
4. Employer Readiness — making sure that an employer has created a position with a job description before hiring.